I am a dreamer and an insomniac. I have a considerable ability to lay awake for hours in the quiet stillness of the night. I review all my failures, plan my next project or worry about what kind of world my son will grow up in. By day I am often unaware I am being spoken to or forget to put clothes in the dryer because I am lost in sleepy inner reveries and random musings. I am a recovering perfectionist who is new to the understanding that I am not a robot.
My favorite times of day are sunrise and sunset, when the light is low, weird and intense. Colors are saturated and heavy in a way that that makes me want to look and look. Shadows are long and slanted giving them an eternal quality. Evening is my second favorite time of day, when the sun is down and things get quieter. Ever since I was a teenager I have had a habit of going for long walks in the dark. Something about those walks calms my body, soothes my heart and organizes my mind. Secret worlds can be glimpsed through lighted up windows. They remind me of dioramas or snippets of a novel I will never read. A soothing reminder that life always goes on, even when you can’t see it.
The lights and sounds that characterize a place are part of what make it home... or not. I've lived in Philadelphia for 20 years and have a love/hate relationship with the smells, sights and sounds that characterize this city. I experience them as neighbors who alternate between being unobtrusive, comforting, inconvenient and downright agonizing. Sometimes when I look at this city I see a rattled, shaken place… and sometimes a rushing river of change, beauty, diversity and power.
This is a time of intensity and fear. But also of great energy and perseverance. There is a lot to sift through and a lot of work to be done. Something new will break your heart every day. For those of us with great privilege this may be a new experience. And that reality requires its own grieving, repentance and strength building. Everyone needs to find their own way to keep going so that we can someday make things better. I make art.